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Rochester’s Pediatric Expertise Recognized by $8.3 Million Grant

New National Center on Secondhand Smoke at Children’s Hospital

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong has been recognized for its contributions to preventative medicine for children with the establishment of a new American Academy of Pediatrics Center of Excellence at the hospital. The $8.3 million, five-year grant to create the Julius B. Richmond Center of Excellence for Children, which is dedicated to preventing children’s exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke, came from the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI). Jonathan D. Klein, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of Pediatrics and Community and Preventative Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, will serve as director and principal investigator, beginning July 1.


“Preventing exposure to secondhand smoke is one of the most important child health priorities. This new center is an opportunity for Rochester to work with national partners to eradicate secondhand smoke exposure of our children,” Klein said.

The center is named in honor of Julius B. Richmond, M.D., chair of the FAMRI Medical Advisory Board and a former Surgeon General of the United States (1977-1981). The center will involve researchers from the University of Rochester, Dartmouth University, George Washington University, Harvard Medical School, New York University, the Public Health Advocacy Institute and Tobacco Control Resource Center and Mississippi State University on five major projects. Michael Weitzman, M.D., former associate chair of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center and now chair of the Department of Pediatrics at New York University, also had a major role in developing the center.


Among the projects are the development of an in-office, rapid test of secondhand smoke exposure in children, the training of physicians in the best ways to promote smoke-free homes and the establishment and maintenance of a national data repository of the most up-to-date and authoritative information on the issues of children’s secondhand smoke exposure, its effects and methods to reduce exposure and its consequences.

“The establishment of this center will dramatically further the understanding of the dangers of secondhand smoke and the potential for preventing smoke-triggered illnesses in children,” Klein said. “Collaborating scientists across the U.S. will be working with Richmond Center projects to build the field, improve practice interventions and activate pediatricians as child health advocates in every state and community.”

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